Central Queensland man who recorded and shared sexual abuse of his niece sentenced to 20 years

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A 37-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of ‘prolific’ sexual abuse of his young niece.

The man pleaded guilty in Rockhampton after a pawnshop worker found footage on a laptop and alerted police.

The district court heard the man was living with his sister when he abused her daughter for a period of two years.

She was five years old when the abuse started.

At sentencing, Judge Jeffrey Clarke said the man abused his position of trust “to offend in the most wicked way”.

He was facing more than 90 counts, including dozens of rape, more than 20 of indecent treatment of a child under 12 and cared for, as well as counts of making, possessing and distributing child exploitation materials.

Among the charges was one count of having an unlawful relationship with a child.

The wording of this offense was highlighted this week by abuse survivor Grace Tame in her speech to the National Press Club.

Ms Tame is campaigning for changes to the law to ‘correct the narrative and get abusers in control’.

Videos sent to other abusers

Prosecutor Samantha O’Rourke told the court there were 54 videos documenting abuse of the man’s laptop, which were given to a pawnbroker as loan collateral in 2018.

The man has since been in custody.

Ms O’Rourke said some of the videos were distributed to other attackers.

“It was clear from the videos that the child knew he was exploiting her when she begged him not to post it online,” Ms O’Rourke said.

The court heard that police also found thousands of videos and photos showing child exploitation material during a search of the man’s home.

At sentencing, Judge Clarke said the man ignored the child’s pleas to stop “even when she was screaming in pain”.

He said the man had ‘normalized and desensitized’ his niece to abuse.

“She was watching TV, for example, while you were using her for your selfish and perverted sexual gratification.”

Judge Clarke said that other than pleading guilty, “there is simply no other demonstration of your remorse or your actual acceptance of wrongdoing”.

“The sinister content of your abuse that you sent to others will theoretically be available on the internet and in the possession of others internationally forever – and your family will live with that knowledge.

The man will be eligible for parole in 16 years.

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